On the Road: Finding Temporary Employment in Williamsport
The need to sync up blog and MiLB.com content has caused me to take chronological liberties with this most recent road trip, which actually started on Tuesday evening in Williamsport before heading to already-written about Aberdeen.
And even though I visited Williamsport last season, this year’s trip had a different purpose: to serve as a promo intern for a day. My place of employment was to be Bowman Stadium, the second-oldest facility in all of Minor League Baseball.
Before punching in, I took a few shots of the surroundings.
Upon arriving, Cutters VP of marketing Gabe Sinicropi handed me an oversized Cutters jersey (my uniform) and put me to work. My first task was to join intern Erik Tuomisto for a most important task: wrangling up fans for the evening’s wide array of games and contests.
I wrote all about this in today’s MiLB.com piece, but it was a bit of an anxiety-inducing experience. Sizing up and approaching people is hard work (which, come to think of it, may explain why I’m single).
Being overly analytical as opposed to a man of action, I spent a lot of time documenting instead of doing.
And soon enough I had to desert my post. I was the evening’s guest on “Cutters Pre-Game Live”, an an onfield-show hosted by Sinicropi.
Knowing my affinity for pinball, Gabe asked me what my favorite machine of all time is. I enthusiastically extolled the virtues of Medieval Madness, thereby fulfilling my long time desire to talk about pinball in the presence of a New York-Penn League stadium audience.
The next question was “If you could change one thing about Minor League Baseball, what would it be?”
I drew a blank, and finally said “I love you just the way you are, Minor League Baseball” (note: not entirely true).
After the interview, Cutters coach Jorge Velandia emerged from the dugout and introduced himself. He wanted to say thank you for an article I had written about him, which I appreciated. With this job, it’s very easy to get into the (false) mindset that no one is reading, and reminders to the contrary really go a long way.
I also enjoyed meeting Cutters manager Mickey Morandini, who I was a big fan of during his playing days with the Phillies. Here’s Mickey and his old friend the Phillie Phanatic, a special ballpark guest who entertained the fans throughout the evening.
Cutters mascot Boomer, a Phanatic disciple, was on hand as well.
I spent the majority of the game “helping” to facilitate the various between-inning games and contests, though I have the sneaking suspicion that my myriad contributions were less than crucial.
This was “59 Seconds To Win It,” in which the contestant had to flip a cup from the edge of a table onto a water bottle.
The base of operations for the promo crew is a little alcove down the first base line, between the grandstand seating and the bleachers. It is here that the props for upcoming games are stashed, and where the various contestants hang out before getting their moment of on-field glory.
Boomer shuffled back and forth throughout, as his “Bungalow” is located just behind this area (underneath the grandstand).
And what an inviting house of respite it is!
I enjoyed interacting with the various folks who hung out at our promo base of operations. Here, intern Katie shows off a most unusual fashion accessory.
This little girl was waiting to dance with the Phanatic and Boomer in a between-inning skit. To pass the time, we made faces at one another.
This was one of the “Innings Kids”, who had the all-important job of informing fans of each new inning by parading the number around the field. He took his job very seriously.
And — hey! — here’s my old pal Mickey Morandini.
The Crosscutters defeated the Scrappers, a key victory in the midst of a heated New York-Penn League pennant race.
I was out on the field post-game because the final endeavor of the evening was a $10,ooo challenge, in which contestants had to roll a baseball from behind second base and onto home plate. A very difficult task, and while some valiant attempts were made in the end no one succeeded.
My recommended consolation prize would be this shirt, easily one of my favorite pieces of apparel in Minor League Baseball.
It’s hard to be in a bad mood about anything when you’ve got Boomer emblazoned across the chest.